God, Chance and Purpose: Can God Have It Both Ways?

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-03-03
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Scientific accounts of existence give chance a central role. At the smallest level, quantum theory involves uncertainty and evolution is driven by chance and necessity. These ideas do not fit easily with theology in which chance has been seen as the enemy of purpose. One option is to argue, as proponents of Intelligent Design do, that chance is not real and can be replaced by the work of a Designer. Others adhere to a deterministic theology in which God is in total control. Neither of these views, it is argued, does justice to the complexity of nature or the greatness of God. The thesis of this book is that chance is neither unreal nor non-existent but an integral part of God's creation. This view is expounded, illustrated and defended by drawing on the resources of probability theory and numerous examples from the natural and social worlds.

Author Biography

David J. Bartholomew is Emeritus Professor of Statistics at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. vii
Prefacep. ix
What is the problem?p. 1
What is chance?p. 16
Order out of chaosp. 28
Chaos out of orderp. 55
What is probability?p. 67
What can very small probabilities tell us?p. 77
Can Intelligent Design be established scientifically?p. 97
Statistical lawsp. 116
God's action in the quantum worldp. 136
The human use of chancep. 156
God's chancep. 173
The challenge to chancep. 196
Choice and chancep. 211
God and riskp. 223
Referencesp. 243
Further readingp. 248
Indexp. 250
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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